The painting showed a recent winter in Rocky Neck. The ships anchored in the harbor rested among partially frozen blocks of ice while a gentle snow fell over the area. This original work was on display at the John Nesta Gallery in the Rocky Neck Art Colony and was one of many the artist had painted of his neighborhood. A few doors down, the walls of The Quilted Gallery were lined with quilts, wall hangings, and wearable art, stitched together in rows of color families to create outdoor scenes, or just interesting patterns.
Rocky Neck in Gloucester, on the North Shore, is an ocean-side artists colony, started more than 200 years ago and said to be America's oldest working art colony. There are about 30 galleries that sell paintings, photographs, crafts, and even home-made candles. The artists work in back rooms and are usually available and eager to talk with guests about their creations and work. The area resides along a picturesque rocky coast in an inlet of Gloucester harbor. Many of the restaurants offer water-front tables, such as The Studio, where you can sit out on a patio and look at the ships and boating activity. During a recent summer afternoon trip, I dined at the Madfish Grille and got a front-seat view of a group of swans, diving for food being pitched out the windows by fellow diners.
Follow Route 128 north all the way (Exit 9), and go straight onto East Main Street. Follow the signs, taking a right on Rocky Neck Avenue.